Organ and tissue donation. It’s a subject we don’t think of often, but the gift of life donation provides offers precious time with friends and family for those waiting for a transplant. In 2011, more than 796 organs were donated in Georgia, giving many people a second chance at life. Thousand more lives were improved due to the generosity of tissue donors.
The Chamberlain family understands first-hand the impact of organ and tissue donation. Friday, August 28, 2003 started out like many other days for the Chamberlain family. Christian and Izayah were getting ready for school. After school, Christian went to his grandparent's house and his mom, Tara, picked him up from there. As they started home, Chris and his mom discussed the upcoming three-day weekend and how excited they were to have a nice long break. "What happened next was something I would have never expected," said Tara. "We were hit head-on by an SUV that entered my lane." Things happened so fast that Tara was unable to get out of harm's way. As Tara lay on the ground in the car, she could hear the voices of people trying to help. "I called to Chris but there was no response. I remember thinking this was a bad dream."
At the hospital, a doctor approached Tara and told her that he would be taking care of Christian. He explained that the next couple of days would be critical to the outcome of Chris's life. Test after test was performed on Chris, and each one proved that he would be in a vegetative/comatose state for the rest of his life. To keep him like that was not in Christian's best interest. Two weeks after the accident, the Chamberlains made the decision to let Chris go peacefully. Because the Chamberlains' youngest son, Izayah, was born with a kidney condition, Christian was very familiar with organ donation and how it could help benefit others who were in need.
"He always talked about donating a kidney to Izayah should he need it. We decided to let Chris help others to have an opportunity to live healthier lives." His kidneys, liver, eyes, and heart valves were donated. Although he is not physically here, he has left a lasting impression through his gift of life. Christian’s legacy will live on with those who are alive today because of the gift he and his family unselfishly gave. Organ donation, with the primary exception of living kidney donation, takes place after death and provides the gift of life to more than 28,000 people each year through heart, kidney, lung, liver, pancreas or intestine transplants. LifeLink of Georgia is the non-profit organ and tissue recovery organization in Georgia. As a member of the non-profit statewide coalition to increase donation, Donate Life Georgia, LifeLink is dedicated to empowering the public to save and enhance lives through organ and tissue donation. Learn more about organ and tissue donation and register to be an organ donor at www.DonateLifeGeorgia.org
LifeLink® of Georgia